Summary: Duolingo in general uses a ‘gamification’ approach to make learning fun and to motivate learners to study. You progress somewhat like in a video game by leveling up to reach the next set of challenges with each task aimed at making you learn the language.
The Portuguese version includes elements of Brazilian and European Portuguese though you will learn next to nothing about the culture of these places. While it is free, there are a number of downsides to what is on offer. It could, however, be useful for learning vocabulary but that’s about it. A beginner will learn a bit of Portuguese but they would do much better looking elsewhere.
Duolingo is really well put together and is easy and fun to use. Unfortunately the content itself isn’t great.
The content is very poor in comparison with other learning resources. Barely any explanations so you just mimic everything.
It’s great that it’s free. For learning vocabulary it could be useful but only in addition to something else.
It is really nicely designed which makes it enjoyable to use.
By making language learning a game it helps encourage people to keep studying.
They’ve helped democratise language learning by making the resource free.
The ‘Stories’ part of the resource is an interesting and innovative way to ‘read’ a story.
I Don’t Like…
It’s basically an endless matching game where you match Portuguese words to their English equivalent.
The content is poorly explained (if at all) so you learn by copying rather than by actually understanding how the grammar matches up.
You might learn some words and phrases but it is highly unlikely that you’ll be able to communicate very well. The fact that there is no cultural immersion does not help either.
Nonsensical content. Some of the sentences are completely useless and don’t make sense.
Price: The best thing about Duolingo is that it’s free. While there are a couple of ads every now and again, they are unobtrusive in comparison with other platforms. You can pay to remove them, however. One ad-free month is 9.99 Euros otherwise it’s 6.99 Euros if you pay for 12 months.
Summary: PortuguesePod101 is a great option for anyone looking to learn Portuguese. The platform offers its users a wide range of lessons (in podcast format) that delve into Portuguese grammar and explore the rich culture of Brazil. While the Beginner lessons are mostly in English and focus on grammar and vocabulary, the Advanced options are entirely in Portuguese. A downside is that there is no speaking involved unless you pay for the Premium Plus plan.
Confusing to navigate on all the interfaces (PC, mobile and app) – the high production value makes up for it.
A huge range of lessons explore a plethora of subjects as the presenters explain the vocabulary and grammar.
Great value for vocabulary, grammar, reading, listening and learning about the culture. Not so good for speaking and writing.
The in-depth exploration of grammar points is very useful.
You learn a lot about Brazilian culture in a short period of time.
They look at a huge range of topics and real-life situations that will come up.
Good progression from the Beginner modules to the Advanced lessons.
I Don’t Like…
I found it quite hard to use the platform. It often took me a few tries to find what I wanted.
There is no way to practice speaking unless you pay for the Premium Plus plan.
Price: The Basic subscription costs $8/month. The Premium plan is $25/month while the Premium Plus plan is $47/month. If you sign up for a longer subscription, the price will drop further. There are several options for subscription length, all the way up to two years.
Use the coupon code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES” to get 25% off your subscription.
Summary: Semantica is an amazing resource for visual and aural learners looking to learn Portuguese by immersing themselves in Brazilian culture. Through their unique video lessons, Semantica does a great job in providing its users with real life scenarios that they will come across in Brazil. While some beginners may find it a challenge, those that respond well to this style of teaching will surely enjoy the lessons. There is a wealth of material to explore and a lot of room for students to progress.
The videos are very well produced and entertaining. The accompanying lesson materials, though useful, are not as good.
Their coverage of real life situations is great but the grammar explanations are lacking.
This is a unique product and definitely worth considering spending your time and money on.
The video lessons were great and on the whole were very entertaining. They really immersed you in Brazilian life.
It is great that the vast majority of the resources and dialogue are in Portuguese.
The lessons progressed in difficulty with the last lessons being very hard.
The Semantica staff seem very helpful. They react well to users’ feedback and use it to improve the product.
I Don’t Like
I think it could have done with much better grammar analysis.
While you can practice your pronunciation, you never get to actually speak.
Price: Semantica has a number of different subscription plans. Regardless of what plan you choose, all of the videos are accessible to you. The shortest option is to sign up and pay on a month-by-month basis which costs $20/month. After that it is $100 for six months and $180 for a whole year. Past that there is the option of paying $300 for five years, $500 for ten years and, remarkably, $900 for twenty years access!
Summary:Rocket Portuguese is a series of audio and reading lessons that cater to beginners who are looking to learn Brazilian Portuguese. Although it provides users with an opportunity to practice their writing, speaking and comprehension skills, the content itself is poorly thought out.
Each ‘interactive’ audio lesson follows a similar format that, coupled with the monotonous presenter, quickly becomes tedious. The language and culture lessons are simple explanations of grammar points that learners can read at their own pace. For the crazy price they’re asking, you can definitely find almost any offer that is better than this.
The app and PC interfaces look nice and are easy to use. The voice recognition technology and actual content though is poor.
The 25 minute lessons did not cover very much, had very little Portuguese and were quite repetitive
Terrible value for money. Even if it was free, it would be barely worth using at all.
While formulaic, some users may appreciate the heavy amount of repetition used.
By awarding points for completing different sections, the platform uses ‘gamification’ to motivate online learners.
Each lesson has a number of ways for you to engage with and learn the material; you get to practice speaking, writing and comprehension.
I Don’t Like
Although quite long, the lessons do not seem to cover much content plus they are very repetitive and a bit lifeless to listen to or read.
Some of the early lessons jump straight to quite complicated grammar and vocabulary which could be a bit overwhelming for a beginner.
In comparison with other resources, Rocket Portuguese does not go into much detail in terms of grammar or the cultural context of Brazil.
The price is astronomical for what they offer. For example they value ten ‘survival kit’ lessons that look at colors, body parts and numbers etc at $49.95!
Price: There is only one level of Rocket Portuguese which takes you from beginner to intermediate. This costs $149.95 if you pay in one go for lifetime access to everything. Alternatively, you may choose the six-month plan whereby you gain access to the resources for $27/month. Another option which is almost laughably bad is to pay $299.95 for lifetime online access and a pack of 20 CDs with all the lessons on them. These CDs with apparently nothing new on them will essentially cost $200!